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Irrespective of the final shape of Brexit, the decision of the UK to leave the EU will result in some changes, both here in Ireland and for our EU partners.

The Withdrawal Agreement on the arrangements for the UK withdrawal has been agreed by EU and UK negotiators. It must be approved by both the UK Parliament and the European Parliament before it can enter into force.


What happens if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved (transition period)?

If it is approved by 11pm (Irish time) on the 31 January 2020, a transition period will follow until the 31 December 2020. This period can be extended for either 1 or 2 years.

During the transition period, EU rules and regulations will continue to apply to the UK and there will be no immediate changes for food businesses trading with the UK.


During this time, the EU and the UK will be negotiating a new trade arrangement setting out the trading requirements for the future. These will apply from the end of the transition period.

What happens if the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved (‘no deal’ scenario)?

If it is not approved before 11pm (Irish time) on the 31 January 2020 or if there has not been a further extension, there will be a no deal Brexit.

This means food coming from the UK will be considered an import. There are controls and checks in place for food coming from outside the EU. You must be aware of what this means for your business if you trade with the UK.

Find out what applies to your business in a ‘no deal’ scenario

Other help with Brexit

Subscribe to our Brexit Ezine for updates 

Visit Getting Ireland Brexit Ready, the Irish Government’s website to help businesses and citizens prepare for Brexit.

Last reviewed: 17/12/2019

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